(photo credit to screencrave.com)
((((((( SPOILER ALERT!!!!! )))))))
I had no idea what to expect from this, but I can see now why it's pretty much the most talked about movie of the summer. It was so different than any movie I had seen in such a long time. The idea of combining a graphic novel and video game and making it into a movie was like.... it was....
... a breath of fresh air.
Let's start from the beginning. Although the brighter-than-life credits were a bit long and jarring on the eyes to watch, I loved how they just threw them at you. The movie starts out with awkward conversation... more conversation.... and then
"WE ARE SEX BO-BOMB!! 1-2-3-4!!!!"
What a BANG! start to a bangin' movie.
I've gotten lots of people ask me to describe exactly what this movie is in a nutshell before they go see it. Because I want them to see it and think it's worth watching, I most often refrain from my immediate impression, which was "a fucking awesome video game with a Beck soundtrack!!" Instead, I take a more subtle approach, since Beck is about 15 years too old for a good number of people of my generation to appreciate and most of the people I talk to (myself included) aren't hugely into video games. I tell them that it is the most artistically genius movie I've seen in a while, but it still tries to pack as much action and humor into the mix that most people watching will understand... like watching a video game, but more satirical because you get stuff like "Scott Pilgrim has earned the power of TRUE LOVE!!!" thrown in.
I think what I loved most about Scott Pilgrim was the honesty in the humor (that and the fact that Vegans are considered psychic :) I loved that there was a Vegan police who would strip away people's powers. "Why is he so strong?!" "Oh.... Todd's a vegan." Priceless). Four guys all sleeping in the same bed at once with absolutely no explanation? Sounds good. Next scene! There was no scrambling to keep up with the pace, no feeling of ahhhh-this-isn't-realistic-so-we-have-to-make-up-some-lame-excuse-as-to-why-it-would-happen. The truth of the matter is that the characters believed everything that was in that movie totally and completely, and so we went along with it. And the absurdity of the humor came through the projection of actualities into overdone scenarios. Sometimes your life does become an episode of Seinfeld, and sometimes people DO cheat without thinking about it. And in real life we often don't stop to talk about it because if you do, something else will bite you in the ass... or stab you, as is the case in the movie.
I also loved the cuts. There's something about jumpy, unbalanced editing that really makes me happy. Take the party scene, for example: we didn't really ever see a full establishing shot of the party, but instead only saw Scott's conversations with people. And when someone couldn't give him the information he needed, there was an immediate jump to a different conversation. When he finally sees Ramona Flowers, we go from a jumpy, blip-y, fast paced scene to this large, white, empty space with a long, drawn out conversation about Pac-Man. The whole thing had a very role-play video game feel to it: going around and asking people for information until you finally get to the one person who will bring you answers and you fuck it up with mindless chatter.
I guess what this whole movie sums up to is the concept of life being... well, a game. There are times when you lose, and other times when you win, but most of the time you come to a happy peace with yourself and accept yourself the way you are. This is most likely the cheesiest sentence I've ever written in a blog post. However, it's the truth: when it comes down to actually fighting ourselves, it's a lot easier and healthier to say "You're a cool person. I'll go out for drinks with you later. But first I'm going after the girl of my dreams."
The Movie Mistress